In 2016 ‘going mobile’ isn’t a strategy, it’s a starting point. Mobile use has skyrocketed in APAC, with 90 per cent of mobile users accessing the Internet every day through their devices. The question is no longer whether you should go mobile or not, it’s how to get the best return from your campaign and reduce the amount of media waste.
Slapping a desktop strategy onto mobile just doesn’t work, for several reasons: behaviour on different devices change, attention spans are shorter, and content needs to be hyper-contextual on mobile. For brands who are trying to optimise on mobile, here are some key takeaways for planning and executing campaigns:
Analyse behaviour, not demographics
Mobile data provides a complete 360° view of the customer journey, including the possibility to anticipate your customer’s intentions and needs. The intimate and individual nature of the smartphone combined with geo-location tracking gives a clearer understanding of user behaviour along the entire consumer journey.
Let’s say business travellers are coming from Shanghai to Singapore for a conference. A high-end restaurant could identify them and send a creative advertisement to their phone when they arrive through Changi Airport. Once they are near one of the outlets on Orchard Road, the brand could follow up with a locationally tailored creative ad directing them to the restaurant.
Be creative as well as catchy
With the recent launch of Bumper ads this month – YouTube’s six-second, unskippable video ads -- that run before videos, it’s clear all mobile videos need to be short in length. There is a small window of opportunity, so the stronger the message, the more likely a user will be engaged. It’s key to understand that short ads need to be tailored for the mobile medium and not just shortened from existing desktop content. Use the six seconds to start a conversation, not show a preview.
Harness the power of now
With so many brands vying for eyeballs, mobile users expect immediacy and contextual results in the exact moment when they are consulting their phone. Every time a user pulls out his or her smartphone, it’s an opportunity to be there for them. Brands that can harness this moment can potentially create lifetime value, and this is key to mobile engagement. For example, if a mobile user is in a high-risk area for dengue or haze in Singapore, a brand can launch a geo-fencing mobile campaign to alert the users in the region.
Cross-device advertising is the new cookie
Brands must ensure that they are effectively following their customers across laptops, mobiles, and tablets so the consumer experience is never interrupted (never presume the user will stay in desktop). Mobile UX designers need to be creative with context when tailoring the same message to each device, and ensuring that all calls-to-actions flow seamlessly across the campaign.
Mobile needs its own strategy
Desktop marketers need to bear in mind that desktop users are also mobile users. Even if the user started and ended their journey on a desktop, there will have been mobile device usage along the way. Don’t think adopting a desktop strategy for a mobile advertising campaign will suffice, instead digital campaigns need to include a mobile-specific strategy. Thinking mobile-first is a sure way for marketers to ensure you reach your customers at any stage along their purchase journey. By leveraging the mobile possibilities today, there are limitless opportunities for brands to meet the needs and expectations of their smart audiences!
The writer is Gavin Buxton, senior vice president, S4M.